In May 2018, Ana Rukavina Foundation announced the fourth public tender for professional training of young resident doctors or specialists in internal hematology and other related specializations at Georgetown University in the US.
At the tender was chosen dr. Barbara Dreta, a hematology resident employed at Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb.
Before heading to a one-year professional training, we talked with Dr. Dreta and the great opportunity that was given to her by applying on a tender for professional training of Ana Rukavina Foundation:
1. Dr. Dreta, for starters, tell us something about yourself, your career so far, and your education.
I am a specialist hematologist at the Department of Hematology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb. I graduated from “Pavlo Markovac” mathematical high school in Zagreb, mathematical high school after which I graduated in 2010 from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Medicine. After graduation, I worked as a doctor at the Department of Emergency Medicine in Zagreb County, Dugo Selo Branch, and in 2013 began my specialization in hematology at University Hospital Centre Zagreb, under the mentorship of Professor Nemet and Professor Zupančić-Šalek. I passed the specialist exam in December of 2018. So far, I have participated in several international hematology training courses, predominantly multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. Also during my specialization, I participated in the publication of several abstracts at international conferences in the field of hematology.
2. What motivated you to apply for the public tender of Ana Rukavina Foundation for professional training?
The Ana Rukavina Foundation’s public tender offers a unique opportunity for professional development in the field of hematology abroad. In today’s medicine, there is a significant need for ongoing education and constant improvement. One of the ways to ensure the good clinical practice is precisely this type of education while staying abroad, which provides not only theoretical training but also attendance at clinical decision making, the experience of working methods. It was this desire for greater knowledge that would help treat patients, essential in deciding whether to attend the tender.
3. What do you expect from a year of professional training at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in the United States?
In the course of my education, I expect to receive scientific education in the form of access to new knowledge, development in the field of scientific work and incorporation of acquired information from the scientific part in the clinical judgment process. The primary area of my education and research will be lymphomas, ways to treat them.
4. Who will be your mentor?
During my stay, my mentor will be Professor Bruce D. Cheson, one of the leading names in the field of lymphoma research. The experience of former scholarship recipients within the Ana Rukavina Foundation has been extremely positive, and I hope that it will continue throughout my stay.
5. Tell us a bit more about the program itself, what exactly will you be doing at Georgetown University in the next year?
Over the course of a year, I will participate in research related to the biology and treatment of lymphoma. In addition to training in the scientific aspect of education, it is planned to participate in clinical observation.
6. How can this help to patients in Croatia when you get back?
Knowledge gained through ongoing education and specialization education as much as they are at the level of international standards is not entirely sufficient in today’s fast-growing world of medical knowledge to work in clinical practice. Continuous education and a constant search for new knowledge and skills are needed. Vocational training in this form, staying abroad under the tutelage of one of the world’s great experts, is a remarkable and valuable way of gaining not only current knowledge but also a means of acquiring scientific reasoning skills and applying this acquired knowledge and clinical practice in the future. It is this experience I hope to apply in my work so far, to provide the best possible therapy and care, to provide the best treatment options not only on my return but in the future.
7. In your opinion, how important are these kinds of public tenders, such as the one from Ana Rukavina Foundation, for professional training of young doctors, especially hematologists?
I believe that these forms of education are the most significant ways of establishing long-term education, which will leave a lasting mark in the way of considering possible approaches in the treatment of the patient and their implementation.
8. And for the end, what is your message for everyone who follows the work of Ana Rukavina Foundation and what can they expect when you come back to Croatia?
I hope that my knowledge and newly acquired skills will fit into the current treatment modality and lead to improvements in both my own clinical practice and the transfer of work experience and knowledge in my work environment. With ongoing day-to-day work with patients where we are most needed at the bedside of the patient in his or her treatment and care.
We wish a safe trip to dr. Dreta, a valuable experience, and new forms of knowledge so she could provide the best possible medical care and hope to the patients in Croatia.